Friday, 25 May 2018

Amy from Green Chair Handworks

This week's Blogger of the Week is one of  our quieter bloggers, but as you will see from the photos she is also a most prolific stitcher with some gorgeous designs.  Once again we share the same tastes (especially the Hallowe'en!) and, of course, she is a cat-lover.  And dogs!  I am sure you will enjoy this interview, learning more about our Blogger, the reason behind the blog name and the gorgeous seasonal stitching.  Please welcome Amy from

1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

My name is Amy; I'm originally from Iowa in the USA, currently living in Missouri, and I deeply miss the Iowa winters.  I have a 19-year-old son, a piano performance major in college.

I have an elderly cat, an old cat, and a young mostly blind cat, all of whom were stray or stray-adjacent (the elderly cat's mother was a stray we brought in, turned out she was pregnant.  He was born under my bedroom dresser).  I have two 6-year-old dogs, both rescues, one of whom actually belongs to a friend.  He's staying with us for the forseeable future while the friend cares for an ill relative.

2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I've been stitching since early 1996.  My college roommate did cross stitch, and let me try stitching one of her projects.  It was a Lavender & Lace angel, on linen, and I loved it, even though I did it wrong to start with.  What hooked me was the meditative quality of the activity, as well as the delicate prettiness of the stitches.

I didn't stitch much after my son was born, until picking it back up in 2015.  During most of his 19 years, I slooooooowly worked on two Lavender & Lace designs – first "Angel of Autumn" and then "Nantucket Rose" (for my mom).

Angel of Autumn

Nantucket Rose

3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started blogging in general sometime in the early or mid-2000's.  I was in various media fandoms, and went from email message groups, to message boards, and finally to blogging on Livejournal.

I left fandom-related blogging a couple of years ago, but then discovered craft blogs in 2015, and when I picked up cross stitch again decided that a blog would be a great way to follow other crafters, keep track of my projects, and maybe keep me motivated.

The title of my blog - about the time I started stitching again, I found a fabulous lime green faux leather rocking club chair (it has a lot going on!) at Goodwill for $40, and decided I had to have it for a stitching chair. I set it up among my bookshelves, with a footstool and a TV, and had my stitchy spot!  I was so pleased with that chair that I decided to name my blog after it.

4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Well, I am any one of those things, depending on my mood.

For example, in May 2017 I did Stitch Maynia and started ALL THE THINGS, and then continued to start more things through most of the rest of the year, and it was the most fun ever.  I stitched on whatever I felt like at any given moment, finishing mostly smalls.

But now, having so many WIPs is driving me crazy so I'm methodically working my way through them, and not starting anything new outside of the occasional small.  I’m really enjoying watching my WIPs become finishes.

5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I’m always bad at “what is your favorite...“ questions. Favorites change by the week sometimes!

But let's see. I've stitched a lot of Halloween and autumn.  I like mandalas, nature themes, quaker motifs, and pretty ladies.  I didn't used to like samplers, but they've grown on me.  I've also been finding myself wanting to stitch more Spring themes/colors lately.

Halloween Stitching

Spring themed stitching

There are also styles that I like but have decided not to stitch, for the most part – for example: mid-century-modern style designs, because they wouldn't really go with my decor, and HAEDs, because I don't have the patience.  However, I love seeing others' work on those types of projects.  That's something I like about online stitching communties, being able to enjoy all kinds of stitching vicariously.

6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

Right now there are two finishes that I'm excessively proud of.

"Angel of Autumn" by Lavender and Lace – this took me forEVER to stitch.  I started it before I got pregnant, and then had such a hard time finding time to work on it after my son was born that I started to resent it.  How dare it sit in the corner making me feel guilty for not working on it!  About 7 years later, it was finally done, and I was so proud of myself.

"Lizzie Stitching Wallet" by Faby Reilly – I recently finished this.  Stitching the pieces of the wallet was occasionally a struggle, and then constructing it was a struggle, and I kind of still can't believe I did it.

I'm also very proud of my progress on Snowflower Diaries free 2016 SAL "Joyful World" – it's my first project on anything higher than 32 count; I gave up on it in 2016 after finishing June but picked it back up this year and am making steady progress; and I've made a few tweaks to the designs that I really like the look of.

7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

Nothing major so far. I've had to frog (haven't we all), and I made an error on "Angel of Autumn" that I didn't fix and now it's framed so I can't fix it.

But really, I'm still waiting for a true disaster to happen.  I have cats and dogs, and I drink coffee, tea, and wine, so one of these days I know I'm going to end up with a shredded, chewed up, or stained project.  It hasn't happened yet, but I know it's only a matter of time...

8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I'd like to be able to sew a stitched piece into a little tote bag or project bag.  Or sew a straight line, for that matter.  My sewing skills are firmly in the "beginner" category at the moment.  I sewed "There's One in Every Nest" earlier this year, and I love it but it's super wonky.

I also think I'd like to learn crochet, and glass art (especially how to created leaded stained glass designs), and wood-working.  I would also like to relearn how to paint (acrylic, watercolor, oil paint) – I used to do a lot of that back in high school, and I'd love to pick it back up again.

9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

So many un-fully-finished pieces!  Ouf.  I love framed pieces, and even though I'm not super-fantastic at hand-sewing, I am increasingly attached to things like biscornus and fobs and things I can turn into dimensional finishes without a sewing machine.  Although, if I'm honest with myself, the only thing keeping me from FFO'ing is not making the time to do it.

10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I'm not sure how to define "me" in terms of stiching.  I guess, maybe Village Square by Ink Circles because of the colors and meditative quality of the design; 

the little over-one bluebirds thing I did last year and put in a pocket watch thingie, because of the birds; 

and the Durene Jones free biscornu design from last fall, because I love Halloween.

11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I don't have any interesting secrets.  Hmm. I like to binge-watch light mystery tv shows while I stitch, such as Midsomer Murders, Agatha Christie series, Murdoch Mysteries, Miss Fisher Mysteries. Alternatively I binge-watch light sci-fi, which given current trends generally means superhero shows. Emphasis on "light" – there's enough emotionally distressing stuff going on in the real world, so I like my fictional world to be essentially a cozy and happy place.

When I'm not stitching I read – also mysteries and SF/F. And poetry and non-fiction (history, science, and philosophy) (I'm somewhat nerdy...).

12. Anything you would like to add?

I am a serial lurker, and have social anxiety, and Blogger is a pain in the rear; and between those things I struggle to comment on other blogs and often to reply to comments (and, you know, return phone calls to friends and family or talk to co-workers – hurrah social anxiety).  But it's always such a pleasure, and a lot of times also a kind of 'soul food,' to see the creativity and craftsmanship, both in stitching and in other areas of peoples' lives, via blogging. I love it.


  1. Hi Amy,I have enjoyed reading about your stitching you have lovely projects.Angel of Autumn and Nantucket Rose are beautiful.

  2. I really liked what you say about your embroidery. And you have shown such beautiful pictures. Wonderful motives are there, great projects.

  3. Very nice to meet you Amy. I loved your projects. Heading to check out your blog.

  4. Nice to meet you Amy! I especially like your stitching wallet adn the piece with the snowman and all the little critters!

  5. Nice to meet you Amy. Wonderful projects.

  6. Oh you have so many beautiful pieces but I really got excited when I saw the Snowflower Diaries SAL which I finished too and like you I finished it in a higher count that I usually stich it was great effort. I made it in to a long calendar!AriadnefromGreece!

  7. Howdy, Amy-also-from-Missouri, nice to meet you~ I have an ancient green stitchy chair too. Maybe it inspires creativity. It certainly inspires comfort. :D You've got a great variety of projects here. Love the black cats on parade piece!

  8. Very pleased to meet you Amy! You have stitched some wonderful pieces and I look forward to seeing more! Going to explore your blog now...

  9. Lovely to learn more about you, my dear. I find everyone else's lives and stitching journeys and stitching to be endlessly fascinating. You have some absolutely gorgeous projects and I I love all of your furbabies. hugs, Kaye

  10. Great answers. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi Amy, nice to meet you! I feel we have a somewhat similar taste in stitching - I'm also working on the Lizzie Wallet SAL (well, I have been working on it, but it's been untouched for a while now) and I do have the Holmsey Winter Friends (I actually forget the proper name for this one) and Joyful world in my 'to do stash'. And I do enjoy some light mystery shows as well!

  12. It's really lovely to meet you Amy. Thank you for sharing your stitching and it was great to learn more about you x

  13. Hello Amy, such a lot of lovely and pretty stitching .

  14. Hi Amy, I just became a follower of your blog, haven't seen you in blogland before! I have a rescue dog from Missouri too! I love, Love your wallet stitch, kudos to you for completing it and your Angles are just amazing. I love stained glass too, I learned from an adult ed glass, maybe they have them by you. So nice to learn about you. Mary